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Dominique Ansel's Dark Chocolate Mousse with Orange Is a Beautifully Simple Valentine's Day Dessert

"The bright and fragrant citrus notes complement the rich, dark chocolate perfectly," says the pastry chef

<p>Jennifer Causey</p> Dominique Ansel’s Dark Chocolate Mousse with Orange Chantilly Cream

Jennifer Causey

Dominique Ansel’s Dark Chocolate Mousse with Orange Chantilly Cream

Dominique Ansel's chocolate mousse is great for Valentine's Day — but also for any day, he says.

"The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity — it can be made for special occasions or as a go-to after-dinner dessert," says the pastry chef, who often makes chocolate mousse for the cakes, tarts and pastries served at his Dominique Ansel Bakery in N.Y.C.

In this version, he uses the "classic combination" of dark chocolate and orange. "The bright and fragrant citrus notes complement the rich, dark chocolate perfectly," he says.

Related: Danielle Kartes's Irish Cream Tiramisu Recipe Is a 'Great Make-Ahead Treat'

If you want to change it up, "there are so many ways to infuse flavors into your whipped cream that balance well with the mousse," says Ansel, who suggests swapping orange zest for espresso powder or lemon zest.

Dominique Ansel’s Dark Chocolate Mousse with Orange Chantilly Cream

¼ cup cold water

1 Tbsp. plus ¼ tsp. gelatin powder (from 2 [¼-oz.] envelopes)

1 cup whole milk

11 oz. (60% cacao) dark chocolate, chopped (from 3 [4-oz.] bars)

⅛ tsp. kosher salt

4½ Tbsp. sugar, divided

1 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

3¼ cups cold heavy cream, divided

1 tsp. grated orange zest (from 1 small orange) plus more for garnish

1. Whisk together cold water and gelatin in a small bowl until dissolved; set aside.

2. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over high, stirring constantly, until milk is foamy. Remove from heat; whisk in gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Set aside.

3. Place chocolate, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a heatproof mixing bowl. Slowly pour hot milk over the chocolate; let stand for 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside, uncovered, to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

4. Beat 1¾ cups heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add chocolate mixture to whipped cream in 3 additions, gently folding to incorporate before adding the next. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface of the mousse. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

6. When ready to serve, beat together orange zest and remaining 1½ cups heavy cream, 2½ tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Remove from refrigerator, and divide into bowls. Serve topped with whipped cream; sprinkle with orange zest.

Serves: 8
Active time:
 30 minutes
Total time:
 3 hours, 30 minutes

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